Santa Cruz seafront palms “doomed”
The Diario last week ran a feature on the palm trees that adorn the seafront in Santa Cruz being hopelessly condemned. The plague of red beetles was first detected in 2009 and already some have had to be cut down, whilst those that are still standing are doomed to follow the same fate according to the vice-Mayor of Santa Cruz, Miguel Alves. Regardless of the genus or species, the many palm trees that lend a subtropical environment to the seafront in this popular town are all being affected by the destructive action of the larvae of this beetle – even those that were protectively treated whilst free from infection. In some cases palm trees can still maintain a healthy appearance, but are already rotten inside.
Work is underway to find alternative solutions to alleviate the visual impact that the disappearance of palm trees is causing. One ornamental tree that is being used is the Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) or “New Zealand Christmas Tree” (above), a species native to coastal areas with rapid growth and red flowers.
Fire-fighting costs not met by Lisbon
The Diario reports today that the Portuguese national government has still not offered any state-aid for the €1 million of fire-fighting equipment needed after tackling the fires on the island during 2012 and 2013. Additional resources have been requested from central government, as well as funds to cover replacing hoses etc. – in Funchal alone around €75,000 worth of equipment was damaged in just a few days in August 2013 (blog archive photo above from that month). Financial assistance was promised by Lisbon at the time. A spokesman for the National Association of Professional Firefighters said that whilst they were not actually missing any equipment at the moment, “resources were stretched”.
Regular contributor Sue Marloye-James has requested that the blog publicises the music concert ” The Lyrical Euphonium” on this coming Thursday 22nd January at 9pm at Holy Trinity church, in aid of the bicentenary church restoration project currently underway. Sue notes that
Sadly the euphonium has not shared the glamour of other orchestral instruments and is rarely heard as a solo performer, outside of brass and military bands. However, some composers have written some wonderful orchestral pieces for this most lyrical of brass instruments. As we hope to include many in the programme this is a good opportunity to introduce the music and the instrument to a new audience, as well as share both with those fortunate to be already acquainted with them. We would be most grateful if you could support this event. Tickets are a modest 7.50 euros on the door, but will be available from the church office from one week beforehand. We are extremely grateful to maestro Martin Smith for his offer of a gratis performance during his short stay on the island, and to our friend Andras Hennel for his free services as accompanist.